Dec 29

Day 6: Cream Trip Supercruise

by in New Zealand Travel, Sightseeing NZ

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Today was overcast until 5 pm. We boarded the Tangaroa III at the Paihia jetty for the six-hour cruise across the Bay of Islands. It is named the Cream Trip because in the old days some tourists got the idea to hop on board the boat that visited all the islands to collect the cream for the market. This inspired Fullers to set up their cruise operations and today they offer many kinds of trips.

 

The Tangaroa III

The Tangaroa III in Paihia Harbour

This trip still delivers parcels and the mail to the people lucky to own an island or part thereof. Not every trip visits the 13 stops shown on the Fullers GreatSights map and we were no exception. The captain will change the route if, for example, dolphins have been sighted somewhere, which might cause some island to be skipped later.

 

Fullers Cream Trip route map

Fullers Cream Trip route map

Route of the Cream Trip

  1. Paihia
  2. Russell
  3. Moturoa
  4. Black Rocks
  5. Marsden Cross
  6. Assassination Cove
  7. Motuarohia
  8. Moturua
  9. Motukiekie
  10. Otehei Bay
  11. Urupukapuka
  12. Waewaetorea
  13. Okahu
  14. Motukokako (Hole in the Rock)

 

Delivering the mail

Delivering the mail at Moturoa Island

The sea was quite choppy and a couple of passengers had to lie down. We saw several dolphins and the fin of a Sun fish. The dolphins had some baby dolphins with them, so the passengers who had paid extra for swimming with them missed out. We saw many other kinds of marine life and birds such as penguins, a shark, Australasian gannets, etc.

Hole in the Rock

Hole in the Rock, Motukokako

Several smaller vessels did not go through the Hole in the Rock but the Tangaroa III did. This is the only such rock formation in the Southern Hemisphere that is large enough for boats to pass.

Otehi Bay

Otehei Bay Resort, Urupukapuka

We stopped for an hour at the Otehei Bay Resort on Urupukapuka Island. We had taken rolls, salad and meat so we only needed to pay for drinks during the whole trip.

One of the interesting sights is the floating rubbish barge for boats to dump their garbage. This has reduced the pollution from recreation vessels that often spend days anchored at some idyllic spot in the islands.

 

Floating garbage barge

Floating garbage barge

On the way home, some passengersĀ  enjoyed (should we say, suffered) boom-netting alongside. The water temperature was 19.5Ā°C but the friction of the water at 15 knots was rough on their skin.

After landing ashore, we had dinner at the 35 Degrees South restaurant. The steak, salmon and fish of the day were all fine.

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